Two studies examined how effort invested in a task shapes the affective predictions related to potential success in that task, and the mechanism underlying this relationship. In Study 1, PhD students awaiting an editorial decision about a submitted manuscript estimated the effort they had invested in preparing that manuscript for submission and how happy they would feel if it were accepted. Subjective estimates of effort were positively related to participants' anticipated happiness, an effect mediated by the higher perceived quality of one's work. In other words, the more effort one though having invested, the happier one expected to feel if it were accepted, because one expected a higher quality manuscript. We replicated this effect and its underlying mediation in Study 2, this time using an experimental manipulation of effort in the context of creating an advertising slogan. Study 2 further showed that participants mistakenly thought their extra efforts invested in the task had improved the quality of their work, while independent judges had found no objective differences in quality between the outcomes of the high- and low-effort groups. We discuss the implications of the relationship between effort and anticipated emotions and the conditions under which such relationship might be functional.